‘Doom RPG’, the weirdest official Doom game, is now playable on Windows

The creators of the Doom series have presented numerous official and unofficial historical retrospectives, but these often omit the strangest official Doom game ever made: Doom RPG.

Even Id Software’s official “Year of Doom” museum at E3 2019 didn’t leave this 2005 game in the books. That’s a shame, because it was a phenomenal example of Id once again proving himself a master of technically impressive gaming on a limited-power platform. And platforms don’t get any more limited in terms of power or compatibility than the pre-iPhone wave of candy bar handsets, which Doom RPG has been locked onto since its original launch in the mid-’00s. You might think “turn-based Doom” sounds weird, but Doom RPG stood out as a clever and fun series twist on the first-person shooter formula.

The abandonment to old phones has changed thanks to the reverse engineering efforts of GEC.inc, a Costa Rica-based collective of at least three developers. On June 29, the group released a Windows port of the game based on their work on the BREW version of the original game (a Qualcomm-developed API intended for the wave of mobile phones from 2001 and beyond).

Time for T9

GEC.inc’s free downloadable Windows port has no copyrighted assets and will not work without the game’s original files. (The same usually goes for other major community efforts that revolve around the reverse engineering of classic games.) That’s where this whole thing gets tricky, as legitimate access to the game in 2022 is incredibly unlikely. Access requires owning a compatible mid-’00s phone that the game was purchased on, probably through an old game retail market that no longer exists, and then extracting the original files of the game from that phone – and that assumes that the original hardware is functional and has not been damaged by, for example, a slowly expanding lithium-ion battery. Id Software never re-released the game outside of the original platforms (BREW, J2ME), probably because EA Mobile acquired a stake in the game after acquiring original publisher Jamdat Mobile.

Whether you’re one of the few with a preserved, working phone with a purchased copy of the game’s BREW port or you’re figuring out another way to somehow access Doom RPG, you can save the data. dump of the original game into the modified assets of GEC.inc translation executable. Ars Technica can confirm that this process is painless and leads to near-instantaneous gameplay on Windows.

The port’s interface is admittedly barebones, consisting of menus that require a keyboard, and the incompatibility with mice and touchpads is surprising at first. It’s a hard crash back to the early 2000s to remember that, yes, this game is designed for T9 button arrays by default. Fortunately, the port plays nicely with Windows enough to make it easy to bind an Xinput gamepad through the standard menus if you prefer a gamepad (or something like Steam Deck) over the usual WASD options.

Doom RPG was certainly not the first turn-based 3D dungeon crawler, and it follows in the footsteps of 80s RPG series like Wizardry – instead of swords and sorcery, this game fills your adventure backpack with axes and shotguns. Enemy encounters happen one “action” at a time, and after you take a single step or use a single weapon or item, every enemy in the room does the same. (Turning a different cardinal direction or switching weapons counts as a free action.)

This post ‘Doom RPG’, the weirdest official Doom game, is now playable on Windows

was original published at “https://www.wired.com/story/doom-rpg-windows-port/”

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